Victoria's Secret is making headlines over its policy to cut up and destroy some of its unworn returned merchandise. Tampa Bay Online reported recently about a woman who was outraged when a VS employee cut up a pair of unworn Pink brand sweatpants right in front of her after she returned them.
But Victoria's Secret is hardly the only major retailer caught destroying unworn returns. You won't believe who else has done it.
Popular discount retailer H&M was embarrassed after a student found trash bags full of cut-up, unworn merchandise outside a New York City store. When the story made headlines, H&M promised it would never happen again.
The same student also found bags of unworn Wal-Mart clothing that had been destroyed. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said that practice was not typical.
And according to Tampa Bay Online, Macy's Inc. also has admitted to destroying some unworn returns.
In fact, the article says that retail experts call destroying returns the retail industry's dirty little secret.
According to Tampa Bay Online:
Big retailers can face something of a bind with returns, said Doug Stephens, owner of the Toronto-based Retail Prophet consulting company. On one hand, they're doing everything they can to retain customers with as high a level of service as they can provide in a cost-cutting era.
"But their fear is that clothing finds its way to resellers and second-hand stores," Stephens said. "If I'm Kenneth Cole, I don't want my stuff sold down the street for $5 a unit if it sells for $85 on the rack."
I can understand returned underwear being destroyed because ... ew.
But if Kenneth Cole's merchandise doesn't sell (for example), why not donate it? Or pass it on to TJ Maxx? If he's worried about it being resold in the States, he could always donate it to a third world country, where it would, I'm sure, be happily put to good use.
It just sickens me to think of clothing being destroyed in a world where there is so much need.
What about you?
Image via Wonderlane/Flickr